Justin Behm ready to fill big shoes as West Fargo High School's newest activities coordinator
Behm was hired in July and will take the reins from former Packers activities director Jay DeCann
WEST FARGO — Justin Behm has worn many hats throughout his career.
He's served as a teacher within the West Fargo School District since 2009, been a coach in various sports across different levels, and now he can add high school activities coordinator to his resume.
Behm was officially announced as the Packers' new activities coordinator on July 21, taking the reins from Jay DeCann, who accepted the athletic director position at Mayville State University in April.
"Justin has an innate ability to develop positive relationships with coaches and learners, leaving an impact on all those around him," WFPS district activities director Logan Midthun previously stated in a news release. "West Fargo High School is home to many rich traditions, and I am confident that he will step right in and lead with purpose, sincerity and respect for Packer Pride."
According to Behm, being an activities coordinator had always been a dream job for him, and that dream has now been fulfilled.
"This has been a dream job for a while," Behm told The Forum. "I knew I wanted to coach and early on in my career, I kind of set a goal for myself that this would be the end game someday because just the amount of students and coaches that you can affect — trying to be that leader in that leadership position for more than just one team and be able to lead an organization."
Behm joined the West Fargo school district in 2009 as an elementary health and physical education teacher. He holds a master's degree in educational leadership and bachelor's in K-12 physical education from North Dakota State. He's coached high school, college and club sports.
"I've been coaching athletics for 20-plus years," Behm said. "I played football at North Dakota State and after that opportunity, I was given an opportunity to be a student assistant and a graduate assistant. I had to step away from that role, becoming a new dad and then after a year off, I got back into education. Coaching, I started at Kindred for a year and then I followed (Moorhead football coach) Kevin Feeney around because him and I played together at NDSU. So three years at Fargo South and 12 years at Moorhead. Then I left Moorhead to go to Fargo North because my son actually attends North, so I coached there for a year before I came over for this job."
Behm's experience as an educator within West Fargo schools is what he hopes makes him prepared to take on this larger role.
"Teaching, I taught elementary physical education at Westside Elementary, which is a feeder school for West Fargo High," Behm said. "So I knew a lot about the Packer tradition and the excellence that the school is known for. And I actually had the chance to coach at Cheney Middle School between track and basketball, as well."
DeCann had previously served as West Fargo's activities director since July 2015. Under his watch, the school produced nine team state championships in baseball, football, softball, boys basketball, boys soccer and play, as well as 23 individual champions in boys and girls swimming and wrestling.
Behm said he's going to do his best to contribute to the school's success.
"I guess the No. 1 goal would be to add to the already rich tradition that West Fargo High School is," he said. "I have some big shoes to fill with Mr. DeCann being gone, but being able to fill those shoes and also put my own stamp on what West Fargo athletics and West Fargo activities are and what they can become — because like I said before — there's a lot of tradition here and I just want to do my best to help our students build on our tradition."
Although he's only been on the job for a short time, Behm is already anxious for the fall activities season to get underway.
"I'm very excited for the opportunity to be a Packer and just one week and two days in and just feeling out the job, I just can't wait for our seasons to start, and see our student-athletes and activities students in their roles and to get to watch them participate in what they love to do," Behm said.